Saluting Mr. Magpie!

If you’re familiar with my work you’ll know that I’ve created an entire collection celebrating an infamous creature. When I am asked ‘Why magpies?’ it brings joy to my heart. It is a very good question and one that has a multi-faceted answer.

I love to create intrigue but also always happy to shed light on and share the reasons behind why I celebrate such a bird through my creation of distinctive art jewellery.

So there is the obvious connection. Magpies are renowned for collecting anything that sparkles; jewels, keys and the like. Yes, you’ve guessed it, that’s me, being a jewellery designer I can spend hours swooning over and hand picking gemstones, tell me of a jeweller who doesn’t!

But there is also a story, a folkloric rhyme of superstition that’s as old as the hills and has intrigued me since childhood. A rhyme that was thought to predict the future and fortune of many, that also contains an element of emotive quality.

One for sorrow

Two for joy

Three for a girl

Four for a boy

Five for silver

Six for gold

Seven for a secret never to be told


Two for Joy Magpie linocut print by Amanda Colville
Linocut Print by Amanda Colville

So magpies are known to be edgy subversive characters, they get a bit of bad press for being the garden tear away and I can kind of understand why. Nature can be cruel and the magpie a ruthless scavenger. However, I like to look deeper and question existence. Everything has a flip side, a hidden surprise and a reason for being.

As I studied these birds and delved deeper into the folkloric rhyme I discovered not only a striking creature with black and white plumage and contrasting beauty, but also one of immense intelligence and emotive qualities. Magpies are truly fascinating sentient beings that truly do mate for life, which explains the line of the rhyme ‘One for sorrow, two for joy’.

Within my work I like to create a talking point, offer the alternative and challenge perceptions whilst ultimately creating an object of beauty which has ethics at its heart.

magpie necklaces

The outcome here was the creation of ‘Two for Joy’, my signature collection of precious wearable art with narrative that contains an emotive edge celebrating unity and love between two free spirited wild beings.

You can shop the Two for Joy Elegance Collection here

Two for Joy Elegance Collection by Julia Thompson Jewellery

So do you find yourself counting magpies? Or does a lonesome Mr. Magpie have you doffing your cap or saluting whilst asking after his wife?

Whether you are superstitious or not, you may just find yourself carrying out (what some might think) this strange behaviour that’s been passed down through the ages, I know I do, that’s folklore for you!

Perhaps you have your own ‘Two for Joy’ love story to tell?
I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Join us and subscribe for all the best sneaky peaks and offers, including exclusivity of my ‘one of a kind’ pieces.

Julia Thompson Jewellery Signature Logo
Gold with heart - Fairtrade registered goldsmith
We support Faitrade Gold. Building a secure future for miners, their families and communities.

Start typing and press Enter to search